Nov 08

Switching Spaces

Posted In Budget, Decorating, Old to New, Shopping, Styling, Uncategorized

Sometimes spaces in our homes are assigned the wrong name, and purpose. Like this TV room.  It’s a large room, with the best view in this condo… looking out onto a gorgeously landscaped courtyard.

But really, how many of us pay attention to a lovely view when watching our favorite Real Housewives episode? (New York and Beverly Hills, thank you very much!)  How important, and practical, is a large, bright TV room?  Personally….I’m all about a dark cozy room and a comfy couch! A better name for this beautiful spot would be “Dining or Entertaining Room.”

And what about this “Dining Nook?” (looking out onto a side yard, fence and trash cans)  Such an uninspired setting… not at all conducive to food, stimulating conversation and entertaining friends.

But…what a cozy spot this could be, to veg and focus on those favorite shows.  Ahhh…a “TV nook!”

These were the thoughts of clients, who called me in, along with an HGTV crew, to redo the rooms. They wanted a big gorgeous dining area for entertaining their friends.  Nice view preferred.  And, the two of them really REALLY didn’t need such a big space for watching TV.

So, the family/TV room became the dining room.  We had lots and lots of furniture to work with(downsizing empty nesters)…the only new purchase was a large black table from the local consignment shop.  Look at how great the room turned out….

Spectacular!  And the dining area became a place to sit, enjoy talking to the chef AND watch television.

Now, this home functions perfectly for it’s owners, with the newly labeled “Dining and Entertaining Room” and “TV Nook.” Perfectly named.  AND….so pretty, fresh and personal!  Have you switched any spaces in your home?

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Apr 10

Small Packages

Posted In Art, Decorating, Styling, Uncategorized

When it comes to houses, I am a lover of small, unique and one of a kind.  The teensy cottages built in the mid 20th century get me all riled up, especially when surrounded by big old trees that meet in the middle of the street.  These cute places can be hard to find…so many have been torn down or built up into something completely different.  So, YES, I was thrilled when I saw this darling, itty bitty Burbank home that was to be the subject of our HGTV redesign segment.  Situated in a leafy neighborhood just one block from one of LA’s studios, it’s owners loved the cottage’s history and knowing that it had at one time been a part of the studio’s grounds and used as a home base for actors to live in while filming.

This young couple collected colorful art and vintage furniture, but didn’t know how to place it in a way that still made the room feel spacious and open.  You can see in these pictures that the furniture arrangement cut the small room in half.  A few pieces of art were hung….most still sat on the floor.   And… there was just a little too much stuff in the room.

View from the front door...The buffet cuts the room in half.

View from the kitchen... The buffet is behind the sofa and the front door is on the far right.

We spent the day playing around with their things; moving  furniture and deciding which pieces to eliminate, grouping and hanging art,  arranging accessories and, of course, filming the show.

Living room view from the front door...after!

Living room view from the kitchen...after

Here is the final product….so colorful, inviting and much more open.  The room looks bigger, doesn’t it?  Such a satisfying day!

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Apr 08

To Angle or Not….?

Posted In Art, Decorating, Styling, Uncategorized

My favorite professor in design school told us that “angles are your friends.”  She constantly reminded us that in architecture they represent strength and security, and when decorating they provide great drama.  I DO love them!  When I look at a room I always ask myself how an angled arrangement would look.  But sometimes, they just don’t  work…..

Case in point:  A beautiful Orange County bedroom;  gorgeous view, nice furniture and bedding, pretty lamps.  But still…..something was wrong. Hated to say it, but the problem was the angled bed. ( An angled bed is actually very hard to pull off…..all of that empty space behind the headboard.  Practically the only time I’ve seen one look great is with a draped canopy style bed, or a built-in corner/headboard.)   In addition to the awkward angle, there were functional problems in this room, like how to read in bed with those lamps sitting so far away, and how to see what is happening on the golf course right outside the window with that armoire blocking the view.  Another problem…..the walls were empty and devoid of art and that mini office storage area in a corner of the room…not a pretty sight to wake up to!

Angled bed looks awkward

Furniture crowded into the room and in front of view windows

Office storage in the bedroom?

So. we got to work.  HGTV filmed a segment for Decorating Cents as we redesigned this room, which is always great fun.  When I do TV redesigns the guys on the camera crew feel sorry for little old me moving all of that heavy stuff  (little do they know that I am a Crossfit warrior) and so jump in to help me arrange the furniture and hang art.  I mostly get to sit in a comfy arm chair, drink tea, point my finger and shout out orders.   My day as a diva decorator….. now that is something I could get used to!

After a full day of redecorating the bedroom (by the way, the ONLY new purchases made for this room was some art) and filming the show, here’s what we had:

The bed's new spot...flat against the wall!

A cozy sitting area in the old "office corner"

I think this is what is called an Adult Retreat.  Fun times!!

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